You had to figure it was going to happen thanks to a combination of factors:

* Brief panic among some Democrats at one set of three-state polls from Quinnipiac indicating a plunge in HRC’s support and a spike in indies opining she’s untrustworthy

* A small but intensely loyal group of people trying every expedient to push/pull the vice president into a third presidential run

* The inchoate but very real MSM need for some sudden Democratic drama to rival the whole Donald Trump thing

* A strong conservative determination to distract attention from the whole Donald Trump thing

* Maureen Dowd, who for reasons I don’t entirely understand, seems to have made ending Hillary Clinton’s career a touchstone of her own.

This last factor led to a MoDo column over the weekend suggesting that Beau Biden sought on his deathbed to secure a commitment from his father to run for president. Some of the buzz I’ve heard is that if, as one might think, Biden himself leaked this to Dowd he must have already decided to jump into the race!

Or maybe she created the whole scenario from hearsay. Who knows?

I sure don’t. But you don’t have to have insider sources to suspect this whole story-line of being a wish-fulfillment projection by an awful lot of people.

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Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore is a political columnist for New York and managing editor at the Democratic Strategist website. He was a contributing writer at the Washington Monthly from January 2012 until November 2015, and was the principal contributor to the Political Animal blog.